David Bowie's first 'Starman' demo recording is up for sale - listen to a clip

11 March 2019, 10:13 | Updated: 11 March 2019, 10:36

David Bowie
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

David Bowie's first recording of his classic track 'Starman' is being put up for auction.

The 1971 tape recording had been put away in a box and "totally forgotten about" for nearly 50 years.

David Bowie can be heard on the recording telling guitarist Mick Ronson he had not finished the song when he tried to end the taping.

Ronson then gave the demo to his musician friend Kevin Hutchinson, to help him learn the song back in 1971.

Listen to a snippet below:

David Bowie Starman Demo Version - Up For Auction March 12th

However, Hutchinson listened to the song, labelled it "David Bowie rehearsal tape" and put it in his loft.

The demo also has recordings of Bowie songs 'Moonage Daydream' and 'Hang Onto Yourself'.

Hutchinson is now selling the tape, and said: "I remember listening to it and thinking, 'This is OK.' I didn't think, 'This is fantastic.'

"At 16, you're not totally impressed. Nothing impresses you."

'Starman' eventually featured in the 1972 Ziggy Stardust album, which helped Bowie become an international superstar.

The demo will now be auctioned on Tuesday (March 12) at Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows, in between Liverpool and Manchester. It is expected to sell for around £10,000.

Hutchinson added that his wife Claire had helped bring back the memory of the tape, after speaking to him about his Ronson story.

He said: "I think she thought I didn't have the tape because when you say to someone, 'I once did some stuff with Mick Ronson and with David Bowie, people think, 'Yeah tell me another one.'"

He said he "couldn't believe it" when he found and played it: "You can tell that Mick has never heard the song before because at the end he is just about to turn the tape recorder off and Bowie says, 'Hang on. There's a little bit more'.

Earlier this year, the first TV recording of Bowie singing 'Ziggy Stardust' was unearthed, while a movie about the late artist is also in the works.